China donates $7M to UG to enhance infrastructure

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Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan along with the First Consul of the Embassy and Director of Trade and Development in the Embassy on Wednesday last paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana and members of her Senior Management Team (SMT).

During the meeting, UG was gifted a cheque to the value of $7,000,000 from the People’s Republic of China to aid in the refurbishing of a generator and the construction of an access road at the institution’s Turkeyen Campus, East Coast Demerara. This gift was negotiated by PACE.

UG’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paloma Mohamed Martin received the cheque on behalf of the University, noting that that as the UG continues to push its preparations for an impending return that it will go a far way in enhancing the services being offered to staff and the over ten thousand students who are slated to begin returning to face-to-face classes for Semester 2 of the 2021/2022 academic year.

“This is the continuation of very close relations between the University and the Embassy of China in Georgetown […] We have a Confucius Institute on the Campus that trains hundreds of Guyanese every year in Mandarin Language, and we look forward to growing that and to the continued support of the Embassy for the University,” the Vice-Chancellor stated. “Additionally, almost two full years of disuse of buildings including the terrible weather we have had, and the ages of the buildings is really placing a strain on the infrastructure. So, this will certainly contribute.”

The Chinese Ambassador, in her remarks, said that her country was very pleased to have been given the opportunity to partner with the University of Guyana and will continue to explore other avenues in which the Embassy and the University could further enhance collaboration so that both students and staff and the country as a whole would benefit great.

The Ambassador noted that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many colleges and universities around the world have experienced severe challenges in finance, teaching, and management.

“This situation provides opportunities and convenience for improving campus infrastructure. I am happy that the Embassy can be of some help, within our capacity, to create a sound environment for teachers and students in the post-pandemic era, and to assist UG to nurture more students who are the bearers, leaders, and architects of the future,” Ambassador Haiyan expressed.

UG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Engagement, Prof. Emanuel Cummings also expressed thanks on behalf of the entire UG community for the gift offered by the People’s Republic of China. He noted that it is a timely initiative that will boost the institution’s capacity to improve the level of services offered to students.

“Guyana has a long-standing relationship with China and this specific contribution is in the right direction as it is an investment into education. That is, any investment in education will be felt by several generations to come […] We are grateful for this contribution as it will go a far way in enhancing our roadways and more so our infrastructure.”

Also present at the ceremony were Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Institutional Advancement) Dr Mellissa Ifill; Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Chen Xilai; and Economic and Commercial Affairs Officer, Ms. Wendy QI.